WOODSTOCK – After getting shut out in its first two games, the Marian Central baseball team needed to get its offense going against Montini on Wednesday.
The Hurricanes did score some runs, but it was not being able to execute in critical situations that did them in. Marian lost to the Broncos, 3-2, in a nine-inning Suburban Christian Conference game.
“In the end, it was little things,” Hurricanes coach Benji Winkelman said. “We couldn’t execute bunts.”
In the second and seventh innings, Marian (0-3 overall, 0-2 SCC) was unable to advance the runner after the leadoff man got on base. The Hurricanes had runners in scoring position in five innings.
Winkelman said his team was more aggressive on offense and played well defensively.
“It makes me feel better because we didn’t beat ourselves,” Winkelman said. “We didn’t give them a lot of extra outs.”
Sophomore Mike Crook provided all of Marian’s offense with a two-out, two-run single in the first inning down the left field line. It was Crook’s second game on varsity.
“It was awesome,” Crook said. “I was just looking to put the ball in play and get on base.”
Crook’s hit scored Dylan Fortin and Mike Koscielniak. Fortin was pinch-running for Corte Trabacz, the catcher, who had singled.
Crook, a lefty, said he didn’t see the ball land fair.
“I wasn’t watching, I was running,” Crook said.
Trent Faunce started the game for the Hurricanes and went seven-plus innings, giving up two runs. Other than the sixth, the Broncos had men on base in every other inning and runners in scoring position in five innings.
“They got a lot of base hits,” Faunce said. “They were seeing me well, but we made a lot of good plays to get out of innings.”
Pitching with men on base was a trouble spot for Faunce last season.
“Last year I struggled out of the stretch, so I worked on that all offseason,” Faunce said.
After giving up a run in the top of the first inning, Faunce said it was great to see his team score two in the bottom half to take the lead.
“It’s always good to pitch with a lead,” Faunce said.
John Robson took the loss for Marian, allowing one run in two innings. Robson struck out three in the ninth inning but gave two hits including the game winning RBI triple.
The Hurricanes nearly won it in the bottom of the seventh after Tanner Spoden led off with a double. Jared Bogner got a walk to put runners on first and second with one out, but Edgar Ross grounded to the second baseman for a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.